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December 2015 Issue
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Photo School: Mountain Landscapes

Photo: Richard Young

Get onto the tops

Photography in the mountains is often about capturing the grand landscape and sweeping vistas full of rugged peaks. The best place for this is from high vantage points or the top of a peak offering a view out over the horizon. You could also include some foreground to give the image some depth.

Head out at sunset

One great thing about being in the hills is the amazing warm light you get by being up high at sunset – try and make use of this to illuminate foreground subjects and the tops of distant peaks.

Composing the landscape

Avoid putting the horizon in the centre of the image as it can be a little boring. If you have some nice foreground, put the horizon higher to make more of this feature. On the other hand, if the sky is full of colour put your horizon lower to capture more of the sky.

Get a sharp shot

To get everything in focus from the foreground to peaks on the horizon, use a small aperture (f11-f22). If you are photographing in low light at the end of the day, you will need to use a tripod or select a higher ISO (400-800) to get a shutter speed fast enough for a sharp image.

– Richard Young is a Wellington-based photographer running photography workshops in Tongariro National Park

Photo Location: Armstrong Saddle, above Sunrise Hut, Ruahine Forest Park
Settings ISO 100, f11, 1/20 second